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Report on the ICHM Special Session on the History of Mathematics, Joint Meetings of the AMS, MAA and SIAM, Atlanta, Georgia, 7 January 2005

by Karen Parshall


On Friday, 7 January, 2005, the ICHM co-sponsored the first of the three-segment Special Session on the History of Mathematics that formed part of the program of the annual Joint Meetings of the AMS, MAA, and SIAM in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. The speakers (indicated by *) and their titles were:

Jan P. Hogendijk (Utrecht, The Netherlands): 
Hard Mathematics in the Medieval Islamic tradition: al-Mahani's Treatise on Ratio Theory.

Eberhard H. Knobloch (Berlin, Germany): 
The Latin Tradition of Thabit ibn Qurrah's Treatise on the Secant Figure.

Kim Plofker (Utrecht and Leiden, The Netherlands): 
Transmission and Impact of Mathematical Tables.

José Antonio Cervera (Monterrey, Mexico): 
European Mathematics in the New Spain, 1521-1812.

Craig Graham Fraser (Toronto, Canada): 
Mathematical Instrumentalism in Pre-Copernican Astronomy.

Anthony J. Crilly (London, England): 
Matrices without Numbers.

Ruediger Thiele (Leipzig, Germany): 
The Weierstrass-Schwarz Correspondence.

Christian Tapp (Göttingen, Germany): 
Georg Cantor, the Founder of Set Theory, in Contact with Catholic Theologians of His Time.

Thomas Archibald (Wolfville, Canada) and Rossana Tazzioli (Catania, Italy): 
Aspects of the Reception of Fredholm's Work on Integral Equations in France and Italy.

and June Barrow-Green (Milton Keynes, England): 
"The Dramatic Episode of  Sundman": The Changing Fortunes of a Mathematical Result.

The attendance at these talks ranged from 75 to well over 150, and the discussion generated by them was fruitful.